Sherburne-Earlville 26, Frankfort-Schuyler 20
FRANKFORT – If Sherburne-Earlville makes the Section III playoffs this year, it will point to one terrific defensive stand as the threshold that put it over the top.
The Marauders’ defense held Frankfort-Schuyler’s offense for four plays inside the three-yard line with less than a minute to go to preserve their fifth win of the season.
With a victory next week at unbeaten Herkimer, the Marauders can force a tie for the Class C East title, and most likely sew up a third straight playoff appearance. “It’s by far the best defensive stand we’ve had,” said S-E fifth-year head coach Mike Jasper. “With the pressure of the moment and everything on the line…to stop them four straight plays shows what type of team we have.”
Frankfort-Schuyler hit a big pass play in the flat, and after a broken tackle, the receiver raced down the sideline before getting shoved out of bounds by S-E senior Ben Khoury.
From there, the host club tried four straight running plays – calling timeouts after the first three. On fourth-and-goal, the interior of the S-E line stonewalled the F-S running back.
Situated at the half-yard line, S-E quarterback Cody Marango ran a sneak to run out the clock. “I’ve been to Frankfort-Schuyler three times and come up empty,” Jasper said. “That’s a tough place to play, and it was nice to see the kids dig themselves out of a hole and stick with it.”
Frankfort-Schuyler’s Rich Morocco ran the opening kickoff back 85 yards for a touchdown, the third kickoff TD S-E has allowed over the past two weeks. The Marauders drove the ball to counter that score, but a third-and-long ended in an interception.
F-S extended its next possession executing a fake punt, and then added a 38-yard scoring run to create a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter.
Jasper said his team looked like a completely different club in the second quarter, and the results proved that. Mixing Garrett DuVall, Brodie Roebuck, and Matt Hull in the running game, S-E drove the field, and quarterback Cody Marango scored on a three-yard run.
Following a defensive stop of F-S, S-E went to the same offensive formula with DuVall, Roebuck, and Hull carving up big yardage. DuVall completed the drive with a powerful six-yard TD jaunt in which he bowled over multiple defenders into the endzone.
Despite another missed extra point, S-E was in a much more manageable 14-12 deficit at halftime.
Hull scored on a 13-yard run in the third to wrap up an efficient four-play, 75-yard drive, but the host team tied it one more time on a 29-yard scoring pass following an S-E turnover.
With a chance to expand its lead early in the fourth, S-E suffered yet another fumbled the ball away. The host team converted one third-and-long, then managed a 29-yard TD pass to tie the game.
With just over six minutes to play, S-E completed its biggest scoring drive of the season, and needed to recover from a third-and-22 to do it.
Hull picked up big yardage on a completion from Marango to extend the drive, Marango found Gavin Giroux for a first-down completion near the red zone, and that same combination ended the drive as Giroux scored his first pass receiving TD of the season on a 22-yard strike.